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Agent alert not firing?

Subject: Agent alert not firing?
From: "C_Hudson"
Date: Tue, 10 Jan 2006 06:55:03 -0800
Newsgroups: microsoft.public.sqlserver.notificationsvcs
I have been working on SQL replication in a test environment, and after 
establishing a push subscription successfully, I turned my attention to 
notifications.

I established and tested a MAPI inteface for SQL Mail.  I created operators, 
enabled alerts, enabled email notification to the operators.  I determined 
that the alerts were indeed occurring by shutting down the subscriber (to a 
transaction push subscription) server and reading the system event log, where 
error 14151 was dutifully being recorded each hour as the push failed.

One alert that I enabled, agent success, records the success of the push 
when that happens, and updates the record in replication monitor to reflect 
the most recent successful push.  The other alert, agent failure, says in its 
properties dialog, General tab, that it has never occurred, and never 
responded.  This is in spite of the fact that it has recorded the failure in 
the system application log and the SQL log.

I haven't been getting alert emails either on the success or the failure, 
although I am subscribed to both as an operator.  I can't explain why this 
is, and I don't know why the failure alert is not reflecting its status 
correctly.

I installed XPSMTP, which supplants SQL Mail, and it has worked as expected 
from within a SQL query analyzer session.  Agent alerts do not use SQL mail, 
however, and so do not use XPSMTP either,directly, as XPSMTP's FAQ point out. 
 To get around this limitation I installed DbMaint's SMTPAlerter, and as far 
as I know I have configured it successfully (the tables are in the dbms 
database) but it does not generate the alert emails, either success or 
failure.

I don't know what to try next.  Once in production I will need to be alerted 
if replication fails - the web server is off-site -  and email is the means 
of notification that management has elected.  As a possible alternative, I 
could run a program that runs as a "daemon" and periodically reads the system 
application log for error 14151, then sends an email.  Of course, that's what 
SQL Server is supposed to be doing.  I hate adding a redundant service to a 
server.  Nuts...

I don't know much about daemon's that run in the Windows Server 2003 
environment.  Does anyone have a suggestion for such a program?

One possibility is that my creation of operators or configuration of the 
MAPI profile is misconfigured - perhaps because they were created while 
logged on as a user with insufficient permissions?  How would I diagnose this 
possibility?

As always, any suggestions and comments are appreciated.
-- 
Charles Hudson 

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